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Disciplinary Actions - 11/18/15

November 18, 2015
KEYWORDS Courts / Discipline / neglect

The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission brings charges against attorneys who have violated the state’s rules for admission to the bar and Rules of Professional Conduct. The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications brings charges against judges, judicial officers, or judicial candidates for misconduct. Details of attorneys’ and judges’ actions for which they are being disciplined by the Supreme Court will be included unless they are not a matter of public record under the court’s rules.

Resignation
Leah S. Fink, of Harrison County, resigned from the bar, effective Oct. 29. Her resignation requires acknowledgement that there is a pending investigation into or a proceeding involving allegations of professional misconduct and that she cannot successfully defend herself if prosecuted in a disciplinary proceeding. Fink must wait five years before petitioning for reinstatement to the bar. Fink, a former public defender, faces felony dealing methamphetamine and other charges.

Suspension
Brandi A. Haggard, of Marion County, has had her suspension for noncooperation with the Disciplinary Commission converted to an indefinite suspension, effective Oct. 29. Haggard was originally suspended March 4, 2015.

Michael E. Halpin, of Lake County, has been suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court for at least 60 days, per a Nov. 10 order. Halpin represented a mother in a paternity action in Tippecanoe County and threatened to file a disciplinary action against father’s counsel unless the case was moved to Lake County. Halpin also, among other things, accused the judge in the matter of ignoring the law. Halpin’s suspension begins Dec. 21 and is without automatic reinstatement.

Public reprimand
Stephen G. Drendall, of St. Joseph County, was publicly reprimanded by the Indiana Supreme Court Nov. 4 for misconduct in a custody case. Drendall did not provide a child’s father with notice of his clients’ motion to intervene and award custody of the child to them after the mother’s death, nor did he provide the father with notice of the hearing.•

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